Tuesday, April 29, 2008

'Studying' Squirrels


I remember those days when I looked forward to return home from college just to observe the family of seven squirrels who lived in our mango tree. They were spirited little things, scampering about the backyard with such enthusiasm, that they invoked the same in me. In the sultry afternoons, when everyone slumbered, they would play peek-a-boo in the garden, and one would look for them for a nice escape from the mundane regularity of life. They scavenged our dustbins, which I thought was rather unfitting, so I provided them with some peanuts, (later shifted over to cashews and pista nuts much to the rage of my mother) which they absolutely loved. . It was something of a mixture of childish curiosity mingled with a sense miraculous wonder that overcame me as I stood quietly watching them from behind the crack in the door, nibbling away on peanuts. They enterained me for many happy days, until, by the end of summer we found dead squirrels in the water tank, and the rest disappeared from the mango tree forever. It is since then that I have bitterly understood that it is unwise to try and tame wild animals, or punishingly increase their dependence on us.

From six months, one particular squirrel started intruding into our lives. She had the nerves of steel, I must say, boldly scuttling into the house without a moment’s hesitation. She missed the frying pan by inches one day, surprising my mom. She made her presence apparent by chewing away some of my comics, and pieces of a teddy bear named fluffy. Her favorite place was the Atta where we store our winter quilts and unused stuff. It was this Monday I discovered that she has given birth to 2 adorable young ones in the Atta. They are bald little things, very tiny and bleakly-eyed, but are growing real well. I have tried, many times to get their picture but the little things scamper away so fast…I have figured it is impossible. Besides, I am not a very good photographer. I have now taken to spending half my day at the Dining table, doing everything from reading to dreaming right there, keeping a vigil, trying to look out for those little ones screeching above my head. Everything from the way they clean their tails to their manipulative methods of trying to steal the chickoo on the dining table are delights to watch. It has my mother enraged of course, but I welcome them quite cheerfully. A day shall come when they venture out into the wide open to explore the world which is not our dining room, but until then, I shall be thankful that they are just there, making my life more colourful and meaningful by the day.

(I shall return to blogging next Monday after COMED-K exams to tell you how I have done and how my squirrels are doing! :) )

8 comments:

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Good luck with the exams.
I must tell you about this squirrel in our yard, which used to be friends with a crow - better still read it here http://rajirules.blogspot.com/2007/02/from-my-balcony.html

Praveen G K said...

Nicely worded :-)
It is always nice to have visitors from unexpected quarters. All the best for your Comed :-)

Kadalabal said...

What a way to write simply superb an your love for nature and wildlife is well depicted offering cashew nuts and pista nuts to squirils!!LOL how can ur mom keep quite and encourage.
you have recalled the old seven squiril family on mango trees and linked it to the new one who has brought new members to your house on your atta.
narration is very cryptic and will cary lot of touchy things embeded in it
wish you all the best for your COMED K exams on 4th may 2008 I know your PU results will be out by then wish you all the best for everything inform your results and performance in COMEDK
all the best once again

pranesh

Indrani said...

Good post Lakshmi.
All the best for your exams.

narendra shenoy said...

Good luck for your COMED-K exams. Hope you get to attempt some COMED-Y exams too.

Sneha said...

Hey Lakshmi!!
I am so sorry for not contacting you, been really busy with new college life and all that.
How're you? How did your exams go?
Oh give me your email address too...Do you chat on msn or yahoo messenger?
My email add is sentymintyme@hotmail.com

See you and keep writing!

P.S: How can aunty be calm when you are feeding exotic nuts to a bunch of squirrels! Hahaha, I can just imagine!

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Hello sneha,
been waiting for your comment, actually, I didn't know your e-mail ID. Will mail you often. Keep writing, i visited your blog too, it's really nice.
P.S. about the aunty question, no, she wasen't calm, bit hysteric actually! :)

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

Thanks all, fr the comments. PS, Raji Mam, saw your post. Was really interesting!